Here we are right near our volunteer night for the downtown walk in which we take part. It’s easy work, helping people checking in, answering questions, and just trying to help out where we’re needed. But, as with any event in which there are volunteers, sometimes that initial shine wears off, making the work a bit less attractive as you go along. To help with that, we always try to bring a few little treats to the other volunteers for our night. We’re always excited about finding something new to bring, and we hope that people look forward to their volunteer shift. This week we made some scones, but not just any scones.
This recipe is another from Bouchon Bakery, by Thomas Keller and Sebastian Rouxel, and we’ll say right up front that we made a double batch, which we do not recommend by any means. Well, if you have a large commercial mixer, go for it, but a home mixer won’t be up to the task; instead, follow the quantities we list, and, if you, as we are, feeding some volunteers, make two batches in succession.
Now, be forewarned: this recipe takes three days from start to finish, so don’t think you can have these ready to go late the same day you start. But, the amount of effort you have to put forth on each day is minimal, so just take it a day at a time. Since that’s how we made these scones, that’s how we’ll post them: day by day. We’ll list all the ingredients today so you can be sure that you have everything on hand.
We didn’t use the kirsch, since we don’t have any, and didn’t see the point of buying some for just this recipe. For the cherries, we used dried Montmorency cherries — we found a bag at Trader Joe’s. For the heavy cream, we always try to use organic, as it doesn’t contain any seaweed (read those ingredients; if you don’t know what it is, look it up, then decide if it’s something you want to eat). For the chocolate chips, we use Callabaut chocolate chips that we order in bulk (you’ll see a downside to that); we think it’s a better chocolate for just a bit more money.
Procedure in detail — Day 1:
We’ll cover everything you need to do today for your scones, which isn’t very much.
Make vanilla syrup. In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar, and kirsch, if using. Scrape out the seeds from the vanilla pod and add the seeds and pod to the liquid. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring often to dissolve sugar. Once simmering, remove from heat and strain to remove vanilla pod pieces. If needed, clean the saucepan to remove any stray pieces of vanilla pod.
Make cherry syrup. Return the strained vanilla syrup to the pan and add cherries. Place back over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let cool.
Steep. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate overnight.
Well, there was really nothing to that, right? In the original recipe, it called for adding just the vanilla bean seeds, but our vanilla beans are drying up a bit and broke into several pieces, so we just flung it all in after scraping, knowing we’d do an extra straining. But, even with that, when we tasted these cherries, we knew that we are likely making a winner. Tune in tomorrow for the next installment of Bouchon Bakery’s Cherry Chocolate Scones.